Recently I took some time off to be with my family. With all of the hoopla about the Mayan calendar and December 21, I had a chance to think about the prospect of the end of the world as we know it. Although thankfully the world didn't end, I was grateful to be with the people I care about the most. A divorce can mean the end of the world to many people; it can feel like the end of their hopes, dreams, love and life. Research has shown that divorce is the second most stressful event in our lives, with death being the most stressful. So how can we move on and not be paralyzed by it?
Take comfort in the routine. We know that each day we must get up, take care of our children, go to work, prepare meals, do something physical, etc. etc. Don't stop doing those things. Besides keeping you on track, they keep you busy and help you to not dwell on all the negativity and chaos.
Take care of yourself physically. Get some regular exercise, sufficient sleep, healthy food and continue your well check-ups. Stress can do a number on your body physically, which makes it much more difficult to deal with the divorce.
Take care of yourself mentally. Seek out non-judgmental friends and family members, and nurture those relationships. Seriously consider seeing a therapist or counselor, even if you have never done so, and perhaps do this for your children as well. They are likely even more confused and need a safe outlet to discuss their concerns.
Seek out an experienced family law attorney. Get some referrals to local attorneys from friends and family members. Meet with the attorney(s) to get to know them better; remember, you may be working with that person for the next couple of years; you should feel comfortable and confident. Make a list of questions you want to ask the attorney. Find out what the law is and what steps to consider. Take comfort; it is highly probable that the situation is not as bad as you think it is. Sometimes our greatest fear is the fear of the unknown, and an attorney can give you information on the local law and procedures. Knowledge is power.